Raising a Daniel

Today Daniel turns 22. Can you believe I have a 22-year-old son? Me neither. Just yesterday I was helping him tie the laces on his navy Keds and wiping the stickies from his fingers. Or so it seems. 

In truth, Daniel is now quite the man. He's a senior in college and already has the job of his dreams lined up with Microsoft. 

We are very proud of Daniel, but not just for his many achievements. We are pleased with the man he has become. While he is still known to pick at his sister mercilessly and hang on his mama like a five-year-old boy, Daniel has also proven himself to be an adult. He is responsible, wise, prudent, God-fearing, and generous to a fault. He is a true joy and a delight to spend time with.

When my husband and I began parenting 22 years ago, we set out to raise adults. We wanted to enjoy every stage of our children's lives, from infancy to graduation, but we also wanted to constantly keep the goal of adulthood before us at all times. 

I won't go so far as to say that James and I have achieved our goal. I won't take that much credit. I know better. If there's one thing I've learned as a parent it's that God's grace is the precious substance which fills in all the cracks made by my consistent mistakes. Parenting is no sure thing. You can follow the best laid plan and still hit more bumps in the road than the map indicated. I take no pride in my parenting, only in the kids I've been blessed with.

But I do believe in setting the right goals as a parents. Those goals keep us on the path of our choosing so that we don't get derailed by the slippery slope of the world's demands or bumped off course by less noble pursuits.

I also have found that raising a boy into a man is quite different from raising a girl to be a woman. Males are unique and require a few things girls do not.

And so today, besides wishing my son a very happy 22nd, I thought I'd offer just a few brief tips for raising an adult male, a Daniel, if you will. If you want to have a mama's boy around all the days of your life, skip these. But if you want to one day enjoy mutual conversation with your adult child over a lunch for which he sprang the bill, take note.
Like I said, I'm no expert parent. But I do have a wonderful young man who is turning 22 today. I'm delighted with who he is becoming.

And this list is not exhaustive. But I hope you can find one or two tips from it to help you on your son's path to adulthood. Hang in there mama! It's worth the work and all the prayers!

Happy Birthday, Daniel!

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